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3 Sep 2020


UN human rights experts welcome Qatar’s improvement of migrant rights

[The UN Special Rapporteurs on contemporary forms of slavery, including its causes and consequences, and the human rights of migrants] said today...

“We are very encouraged by the bold steps Qatar is taking to increase the protection of the rights of migrant workers and ensure adequate living and working conditions for all...If the new law is implemented effectively, the increased freedom of workers to change jobs will make it easier for them to escape exploitative and abusive working conditions.

“Through these reforms, and by removing exit permit requirements for most workers in January this year, the Government of Qatar has technically ended the ‘kafala’ sponsorship system...

“We call on the Government of Qatar to remove the last pillar of this system, to abolish the charge of absconding and to hold employers who charge illegal recruitment fees that leave many migrant workers in debt bondage accountable. We also encourage the Government of Qatar to effectively and fully implement the new laws as soon as they enter into force by enacting strict penalties, strengthening the capacity and frequency of inspections across all sectors and enhancing the identification of violations to end the exploitation of migrant workers once and for all. These measures are particularly important in the current context of COVID-19, as additional efforts are needed to ensure that migrant workers are not left behind.”